The William B. Sturgill Award is presented annually to a graduate faculty member for outstanding contributions to graduate education at UK. William B. Sturgill was a 1946 graduate of UK and became prominent in the coal industry. He made several important contributions to higher education in Kentucky and served 18 years on the UK Board of Trustees, 10 of which he was chairperson. Among his numerous contributions to graduate education at UK, Dr. Spear is the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program where he directed a complete reworking of the curriculum, has served as the DGS for the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and was Principle Investigator of a NIGMS R25 grant entitled “Kentucky Bridge to a Biomedical Doctorate for Appalachian Students”. Dr. Spear co-chaired the 2017-2018 Blue Ribbon Panel on Graduate Education that was charged with developing a vision for transforming graduate education at the University of Kentucky. He has served as thesis advisor for over 25 graduate students, trained numerous undergraduates, and served on over 100 dissertation committees. Notably, Dr. Spear’s students were instrumental in nominating him for this award.